Ask SGO: Black History Month

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View the full video transcript below. Black History Month is coming up and I know a lot of us are probably thinking, “what can we be talking about?” “What can …

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View the full video transcript below.

Black History Month is coming up and I know a lot of us are probably thinking, “what can we be talking about?” “What can we be reading?” especially in the workplace. So we’re going to just give you a few tips on how to get started. 

So the first tip is really thinking about what does Black History Month mean for you as a company, right? Especially if you haven’t done this before you’re probably wondering, okay, how do we say something? and we’re making sure that we’re intentional about what we’re saying and that we’re also honoring black history based on all the things that we’ve seen before, right? 

So one, just state what black history month means for you as a company and that could be probably a statement, that could be an email, that goes out, that can be, you know,you having a conversation with your team and also asking people within the workplace, what is it that they want to see your company do. That brings me to my next point, which is

what do people your company want to do, right? Especially if you have folks who identify as black. How do they want to celebrate Black History Month if they do at all, right. We don’t want to make the assumption that every black person does. But what does it mean for them and maybe that can sort of help think about what are some questions they might want to have or discuss as well. 

If you’re a company where you actually don’t have any black employees within your ranks right now, you can still reflect on what Black History Month is meant to support, why we have it and what that means for you and your organization moving forward. A lot of organizations and teams are reflecting on their demographic makeup right now and so thinking about, how can you show and spotlight the ways that you are looking to support the black community in general? Whether that’s your customers, your community, your vendors or clients, just the larger neighborhood that you might be operating in or supporting, and that can still be a conversation that you have and hold during this month of February. 

And going off of Felicia’s point, which I really love about action, right? We always say not just thinking about how we celebrate but who are in the places that they need to be, right? So representation is key. But then also thinking about promotion. We know that, I think, when the Black Lives Matter movement was going on, and also when we were looking at a lot of just the social unrest, we saw a lot of companies responding by promoting folks who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color in their communities, realizing that, hey, in our workplace, there isn’t an equal promotion that’s going on. How do we take a step back and do some auditing? So I think a really big piece is really thinking about our structures and our policies in our workplaces, right? Like one thing we’re saying we’re celebrating black history month, but another thing is, how are we making sure that people within our company, or our organization feel like they’re being represented and supported.

Another thing you could be thinking about and keeping in mind is taking a look or revising and reviewing what organizations are you supporting from a charitable standpoint. As a B Corp, She+ Geeks Out has, as part of our mission, a mandate to give back, and support other organizations, nonprofits, and community organizations. And so that’s something that’s really close to our values and close to our mission. And so we’ve actually this past year taken a look and revised a little bit around who we’re supporting.

Last tip would be really think about what happens once February is over because whatever you’re doing in February for Black History Month should be perpetuated throughout the year and not just limited to one month only.

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